After my Brain injury I worked hard to get back the skills and abilities that I had lost, driven by the desire to get back to
where I used to be. It was obvious to me that getting those fundamental skills back; walking, talking, tying my shoes, etc., would get me there.
However, after months and even years of failure, stuck in a depression and frustration, I saw this wasn’t working. There was something missing. I decided to look at my life after brain injury differently, and after much thinking about what was missing in my life, I was able to see a new way forward.
Even though I had worked like the dickens to get back what I could, I learned that just getting those skills and abilities back wasn’t enough. I saw that the quality of my life depended not on the things I could do or how well I could perform, but on who I was as a person.
I finally realized my main focus should be on once again feeling whole, finding my place in the world, and feeling like a human being.
The Need to Belong
The ability to feel whole and feel human is not tied to being able to do or accomplish things, but rather, it is directly related to the ability to belong and be a part of what’s going on around you. Feeling as though we belong; to a community, a social group, a band of people, etc., validates our existence by adding meaning to our everyday activities.
When we feel as though we belong to a group of like-minded individuals, we are not so alone. We feel comfort and we live with a greater purpose, whether we belong to a club, group, or a family unit. Being part of a community makes you feel human and brings the best out in you. When you belong, you have a voice and you have a presence and are accepted for who and what you are.